5 Ways to Choose a Good Password
By Cathryn Conroy
A good password is one that is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess.
First, this is what you should never do:
- Don't use your children's names, your birthday, your alma mater or any personal information that is easily guessed.
- Don't use the 10 most common passwords: God, love, lust, money, private, qwerty, secret, sex, Snoopy and password.
- Don't use words that can be found in the dictionary.
1. Think of a sentence that is easy for you to remember and then make your password the first letter of each word in that sentence.
Example: "The baby is due on September 30" becomes the password tbidos30
2. Choose a word or phrase you can easily remember and then insert random numbers between the letters.
3. Slightly change a familiar phrase by purposely misspelling it.
Example: Two tickets to paradise becomes 2Tickets2Paradiz
4. Do what you're not supposed to do: Choose your name or birthday. But instead of using the actual name or date, type it one character to the right on the keyboard.
Example: BrianJones becomes NtosmKpmrd
5. The best password, although it can be hard to remember, is one that is just random characters.
- No password is totally secure. Every password can be cracked. The best you can do is to make it difficult for someone to figure it out.
- The worst password? That's the one you forgot!
- Change your password often.
- The more important the password, the more frequently you should change it.
- Choose a long password. The longer it is, the harder it is to guess.
- If you must write down your password, hide the paper.
- Never give your password to anyone for any reason, and if you do, change it immediately.